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Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan

Generic Name: hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan (HYE droe klor oh THYE a zide and val SAR tan)
Brand Name: Diovan HCT

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Aug 30, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan?

Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill) that helps prevent your body from absorbing too much salt, which can cause fluid retention.

Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. Valsartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan is a combination medicine used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering blood pressure may lower your risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan is usually given after other blood pressure medicines have been tried without success.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not use if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

If you have diabetes, do not use hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • decreased urination or are unable to urinate; or

  • an allergy to sulfa drugs.

If you have diabetes, do not use hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

You may also need to avoid taking hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium, or high levels of calcium in your blood);

  • a heart attack;

  • angina (chest pain), congestive heart failure;

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • gallstones;

  • an allergy to penicillin;

  • a severe allergic reaction to another heart or blood pressure medicine;

  • lupus, gout, or high levels of uric acid in your blood;

  • glaucoma; or

  • if you are on a low-salt diet.

Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan and tell your doctor right away. Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.

You should not breastfeed while using hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

You may take this medication with or without food.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your kidney function may also need to be checked.

You may have very low blood pressure while taking this medication. Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan.

It may take up to 4 weeks for this medication to control your blood pressure. Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or stop taking any of your medications without your doctor's advice.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan?

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes, unless your doctor has told you to.

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may cause side effects.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain;

  • eye pain, vision problems;

  • an unusual skin rash;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • signs of an electrolyte imbalance--dry mouth, increased thirst, drowsiness, confusion, feeling restless, vomiting, muscle pain or weakness, lack of energy, fast heartbeats, little or no urine, or a seizure.

Common side effects include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Initial dose: 1 tablet (12.5 mg-160 mg) orally once a day

Maintenance dose: Titrate as necessary (every 1 to 2 weeks) up to a maximum of 25 mg-320 mg orally once a day

Comment:
-Hydrochlorothiazide-valsartan may be substituted for the titrated components.

What other drugs will affect hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan?

Some medicines can make hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan much less effective when taken at the same time. If you also take cholestyramine or colestipol, take your hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan dose 4 hours before or 4 hours after you take the other medicine.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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